• I love the Trailblazers. For all the talk about their renaissance, about the way they’re rebuilding, they still do a lot of not-so-smart things. Recently they traded Zach Randolph for pretty much nothing in return, which was a horrible move considering a lot of teams would’ve given you more than just Channing Frye for a 20-10 guy.
Today’s report is that they’re buying out Steve Francis. That is actually a wise thing. What I don’t get is that Francis was owed $33.6 million, and the Blazers are supposedly going to buy him out by paying him “more than $30 million.”
That’s not buying him out, that’s just paying his contract. If I’m Portland, I go to his agent and say, “Look, we’ll pay you half of the contract and you get him out of here and let him play somewhere. Otherwise, we’ll keep him under contract for three seasons. Make him practice every day and sit on the bench every game, and we’re never going to play him. Ever. And when his contract is about to run out we’ll tell every team in the League that he can’t play. But we’ll expect him to completely honor the terms of his deal. It’s your choice.” (That’s probably not allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but who says it has to be an on the record conversation?)
Don’t you think Francis would have to accept that? Basketball players hate nothing more than having to sit on the bench night after night after night. And with Francis’ window closing, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want to spend his next three years in Portland on the bench.